Beginner Beekeeping Ep 4 Part 3 – Installing a package with Michael Bush

– Questions? – Well, you know what, this is an interesting kind of a feeder. It kind of depends on what else you got. If you got a whole bunch of
strong hives in your yard, and you put this in front of there, they’re liable to get excited
and start robbing this hive. I can’t predict what the results will be. It’ll depend on the time of
year and what else is going on. But I think there’s
enough blooming right now, it’s not gonna make much difference. I could probably put
it in front of a hive, and it would give them
something to work with. If you had some kind of
feeder that fit this hole, you could put a feeder on there, if you wanted to. Again, it depends a lot
on the circumstances. If the circumstances
are that you’re liable to get a week of rain, and they’re not gonna get
chance to get any nectar, then you better feed
them or they’ll starve, ’cause they have no stores. So, it’s really important that
they don’t run out of food, especially when they have no stores. Then they’re in a very
precarious position. In my location in April, there may or may not, depending on how early in April, and how late in April and what the season happens to do, there may not be anything blooming in it if I don’t give them something
they definitely will starve. So, you have to judge that. And let’s say I decide not to feed them and then it starts raining, and it’s raining everyday
for the next week, I can come out here in
the rain and feed them ’cause I think they need to be fed… If they can’t get out to forage. Does that make sense? If you’re a new beekeeper, I’d sit there and watch them all day. You got a lot to learn, you may as well watch what they do. But, if I was installing these now, I probably wouldn’t hang around. I’d just install them
and go for the house, I’m done. But…. I’ve watched them before. Just watching them right now, these bees are orienting. See, this is another thing you need to learn as a new beekeeper, is the sound of just bees. These bees are just confused. They’re kind of relieved
that they’re not in the box, but basically they’re just orienting. They’re flying around
here in little circles trying to figure out where are we and what are the landmarks and how do I find my way back to my hive. And that’s what they’re doing right now. So, these are not unhappy bees. If you look at this bee right here with its behind in the air, this bee is exposing its Nasonov gland. It’s fanning a pheromone saying, “We’ve been disrupted and here I am.” Well, it’s not really doing a lot of good ’cause everyone else is in there. So he’s really barking up the wrong tree. But, that’s what a lot of
bees in here are doing. They’re fanning that
Nasonov pheromone saying, “This is where we are. “This is where everybody is. “We need to get organized.” – Yes. I’d probably come back in three days and she should be loose. If she’s not, I’d just turn her loose. – Yeah, you’ll have to pull out a couple of frames to get to her because she’s on the bottom and then I just… I didn’t show you the details
on how to do that on that cage but on that particular kind of cage, the tube that sticks out, it has the candy in it, but before the tube sticks
up there’s a little cap and you flip that cap open and the queen can just walk out. In fact if you flip that cap open then you can actually
fold the whole thing back and it’s wide open and she can walk out. The other thing is if you’re
releasing a queen directly, like she’s still in the
cage three days from now, and you want to release her, your tendency may be to pick her up and shake all the bees off
so you can see her better, but now you just got her all upset. Now she’s real likely, if
you open it up, to fly off. So, you’re really are
better off not to do that. You want to keep her calm. You want her to just walk out of the cage. You don’t want her to be all
wound up when you open it. Does that make sense? And you want her to sense
where everybody else is. So, I’d have it down by the top bars and I’d be ready to block her path and block the sunlight
so that she wants to go down in the hive instead
of trying to fly out when you let her out of the cage. – If you’re going to do foundationless, yeah, you really need this hive level. In fact, even if you’re using foundation, you really ought to have it level. – Is plumb a common term in Australia? ‘Cause it’s not anymore in America, but it used to be. Plumb means it’s straight up and down. Well, the combs are going to be plumb because the bees cluster
and they hang in clusters, and the clusters’ always going
to be in line with gravity and that’s how they build their comb. If the hive’s leaning like this, then they may start on
the top bar of this frame and end on the bottom bar
of the frame next to it and then you… You’re comb isn’t all on the frame. So, this way and this way I want it level. This way and this way really
doesn’t matter that much. Other than I don’t want
to get it tipped so far that the more a hive tips, the more the weight is on the side where it’s tipping towards. And the more the weight’s on the side where it’s tipping towards, the more it sinks in to the ground. And the more it tips toward
the side it’s tipping toward and then eventually you get the Leaning Tower of Pisa affect. And eventually it will fall over. So, I like it fairly level this direction but it doesn’t have to be perfect. – Lemongrass oil is great
to help get them settled in as long as you don’t use too much. If you use somewhere
between two and four drops, it works really well. I always had trouble
getting and eye dropper to work with the lemongrass essential oil ’cause the rubber part would always melt from the essential oils. I don’t know why. So, I usually end up, I don’t know what you’d call it here, I call it a Q-tip… Maybe it’s a cotton swab. And if you just…. Maybe this will let it
out a drop at a time, that can work just fine. Yeah, this has a cap that will let you get it out about a drop at a time. So, you can just get it a drop at a time. I usually just have a bottle and I dip the cotton swab in there and that’s about two or three
drops on the end of that. I just drop it in there. Now this is that Nasonov
pheromone that they’re doing to get organized on. If you look at the active
ingredients in here, there’s seven constituents to Nasonov and six of them are in here. And there’s only four of them
that really seem to matter as far as the bees getting organized and all four of those are in here. So, this is almost a dead
ringer for their pheromones. So if you put three or four drops in here, if some bees over here start fanning and saying, “Hey we’re all over here”, this will probably overpower them and they’ll go, “Nah, I think
they’re all over there.” The smell is stronger. And we can put a little of this in there if you’d like to do that. – See, part of the problem of
being an established beekeeper is you always have all the
equipment that smells like bees, and so it’s easy to get them to stay. When you have brand new boxes, they’re a little more likely to not think it smells like home because
it’s just a new box. Or if it’s an old box that
bees have been living in, it smells like home. So, if I was putting them in a new box, I have done this, yeah. But, if you just put
a few drops right here in the middle on the top… If you get too much, you
might drive them out. If you get too much smell, they might start thinking
it smells kinda fishy, kind of artificial. They may not buy it. I rubbed it up on some… Some of that soft wax, ’cause I think if I get
it dissolved in the wax, it’ll last longer. It’s not really essential I
just happen to have it there and I thought I’d use it. I need to get these guys to
move out of the way again, so I can get the lid back on. See how that goes? – Cool. Thanks, Michael. – To keep up to date with
all the latest episodes, please subscribe to the
Flow Hive YouTube channel. And if you have any
questions or suggestions, pop them in the box below, and we’ll do our best to get back to you as soon as we can.


  1. Hi,
    I'm interested in trying this system out for the upcoming season. Do you have a retailer in Ireland or the UK?

  2. I want to commend you on such an awesome business model; not only have you designed a product which helps us all, but you've provided a sense of community, and instructional videos for ignorants like myself. I just got my flow hive in the mail, and I've almost finished construction. This will be my first hive ever. I've been coating each piece of wood in a mixture of honey and citrus oil as a wood preservative. After watching this video, I'm second guessing that decision, since the smell may drive the bees off. What do you guys think?

  3. I'm a total amateur but from previous videos I've seen the keeper always spray the bees with sugar water or something before they open the cage to help keep them inside?

  4. Hi, Great work by FlowHive, You all deserve applauds and lot of appreciation.
    My question is, i am totally a new bee keeper it would be my first experience.
    Can you let us know which type of bees you guys have used ( Italian i suppose), How much qty on an avg? and when can we expect them to see making comb for all frames ?? any specific time frame??
    i will be pleased to know.

  5. I find this fascinating. I've recently become interested in beekeeping, but am in research phase. Your flow hive is amazing. I live in a small town in southern canada, so there isn't a lot of community to connect with that I've found yet. But the research is fascinating. Thanks for your quality instruction videos!

  6. I am interested in Flow Hives but i now Live in Japan. I will start farming in the future and want to also pick up honey bee farming to help with pollination etc. I have seen a local bee farmer drop off the typical bee box types in my area i am basically surrounded by forest, flowers, rivers, mountains etc. i live in Nikko, i also seen on YouTube Japanese bee keepers use Logs for their hives. Would the Flow Hive work normally with Japanese Honey bees? i am under the impression since i have seen the usual Box set up it wouldn't be an issue?

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